Tag: resources (page 1 of 3)

Form+ Turns Google Forms Into Digital Dropboxes

I recently found this great tool that lets users upload files directly to a Google Drive account via the Google Forms tool. I think a lot of folks will find this really useful.

Presentation Notes: What’s New in Web 2.0?

At the risk of having the entire group focus on their food and ignore me (ahem) the following are some useful resources I’ll be sharing with Highland Park ISD teachers during lunch on Thursday.

  • Learni.st –create & share online “boards” around any topic or area of expertise. 
  • Gooru –powerful new search tool for education that returns results that can be filtered by type (e.g. notes, handouts, quizzes, interactives, etc.). Can also create collections, virtual playlists for students to use.
  • Aurasma —partly a Web 2.0 tool, Aurasma’s key component is an app that uses a phone’s camera to access images, videos, etc. that have been linked to an image of a particular object.
  • Tynker –online tool that lets students learn the basics of programming and lets teachers manage students, create programming assignments, assess, etc.
  • Videonot.es –watch videos and take notes as you go. Notes are saved to Google Drive account.
  • Checkthis –great, free tool for quickly creating sharp-looking websites, including text and many types of embeddable tools (maps, videos, web apps, etc.).
  • TubeChop –very practical tool that allows users to select and share specific snippets of YouTube videos.
  • Knovio –share your PowerPoint presentations online PLUS add video clips of yourself providing narration.
  • Comicmaster —really cool tool for creating graphic novels online using click-and-drag interface. Products can be saved and printed.
  • Marqueed –collaboratively share and discuss images, website screen captures, more. Includes a useful history tool to keep track of conversations and works nicely with Google Drive.
  • Thinglink –create and share interactive images, maps, etc. Add an image, add a trigger, and link it to content (video, podcast, website, Wikipedia, etc.).
  • GroupMap –create and share very collaborative mindmaps. Simple interface, let’s users have easy control over privacy.
  • Infogr.am –free, collaborative tool for creating infographics. Uses handy click-and-drag format and includes numerous templates and graphics to get you started.
  • Easel.ly –another tool for creating infographics online, Easel.ly also has an easy interface, great graphics, and ability to create collaboratively.
  • Phrase.it –simple tool lets users add speech bubbles to upload images and save or share in a variety of ways.
  • BiblioNasium –create a safe social network for students that is centered on reading. Teacher can create recommended book lists and monitor student progress, students can engage in book discussions, parents can monitor children, much, much more.
  • Portfoliogen –create sharp, professional-looking online portfolios.
  • DoSketch –very simple, free drawing tool. Unlike many similar sites, drawings can be downloaded and saved!
  • GeoGuessr/GeoSettr –fun and engaging geography guessing game using Google Street View. GeoSettr lets users create and share their own games.
  • Remind101 –create text-message class contact lists without ever seeing student numbers.
  • Presenter –online presentation tool still in beta. Good tool selection and interface, but has been a little buggy (That’s why it’s in beta.). Still, it has a lot of potential, the development team is very responsive to questions or suggestions, AND it creates presentations that are mobile-device friendly!

PD Scatter-Shooting

In my district, as in many others these days, opportunities for sharing technology-focused PD are very limited. Schedules are

Image credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/add1sun/3511681984/

tight, district PD days are reserved for other training, after school works for some, but not for many, etc. Probably the biggest challenge is the size of my staff…one. I believe it is absolutely necessary, therefore, to focus not on the traditional model of professional development, but instead to squeeze as many learning opportunities into as many times and formats as possible. Realizing that not every staff member is going to attend the in-person workshop or watch the webinar, I’ve taken a sort of scatter-shooting approach, where I’m utilizing a range of tools to get the information to those that need it. I wanted to share what I’m using in hopes it might help others in similar circumstances (most of us). The following resources are among those I’ve been using:

  • Traditional, in-person training. These sessions are led by me or by some fantastically talented teachers and campus technologists. They are in the summer or after school throughout the year, and they are 3- or 6-hours in length. I’ve tried to include a focus on how each technology will be applied in the actual classroom or campus, although I am not 100% satisfied with that process just yet.
  • Newletters (November’s newsletter). I’ve been putting out a monthly newsletter, the Matador Digital Learning Digest. It basically consists of a focus article on some trend or technology, app recommendations, technology research/statistics, news, and a variety of web-based tools. I send this out via the district’s email system and share it on the department website and social networks.
  • Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SeguinDigitalLearning). I probably share more information through FB than any other tool at this point. I share informative articles, useful resources, events, distance learning opportunities, contests, and anything else that I believe can benefit teaching and learning here. This one is slowly gathering followers, and I’m hopeful that it will become a go-to resource while simultaneously demonstrating the great possibilites of social media sites as tools for learning. I’ve got some convincing to do there.
  • Twitter (https://twitter.com/matadoredtech). I use Twitter very much in the same way as I use Facebook, to share resources, learning opportunities, announcements, etc. I’ve been a little surprised at the lack of Twitter users in the district, but my brainwashing has only been happening for a few months, so that will change. I like the idea of using a resource that can be checked in a few seconds on a smart phone, making PD quick, painless, and portable.
  • Blogging. The real purpose of this blog is to teach and share through my rambling reflections. I’ve returned to a previously successful strategy this year by re-inventing the tech challenge that I used a couple of years ago. These are short, narrowly-focused technology lessons accompanied by a simple task to get our folks familiar with the resource and its possibilities. I’m even bribing them, as I’ll be offering prizes through a drawing for participants in the spring.
  • YouTube. Screencasts and other short, instructional videos are a great way to share a concept or start a discussion. I’ll share the link via email, our department web page, in newsletters, on our social media sites, etc.
  • Online courses. At this point we are offering 2 tech courses online, a 3-hour course on Challenge Based Learning/Digital Storytelling and a 6-hour course on iMovie. I’m developing a Google Docs course, as well. We use Moodle for our learning management system. Participation has been pretty limited, but I see signs that more folks might be interested in giving it a try.
  • Podcasts (http://www.spreaker.com/show/mossfreeshow). I’ve just started doing the regular podcasts, and am only up to 4 episodes. I am focusing on a specific topic, such as the most recent episode’s focus on communication. I’m also hoping to include interviews with teachers in the district as often as possible, and to use this as an opportunity to put the spotlight on our folks who are doing powerful, innovative things with technology. I’ll also include interviews with great educators from outside of the district whenever possible, such as a recent interview with Diana Laufenberg.
  • PLCs. This one is in the soon to be implemented state, but it needs to be included. As we move towards a spring implementation of BYOD, I’ve started talking to my BYOD committee about using less formal, after school sessions with groups of interested teachers. I envision that these sessions would take on the form of collegial conversations, discussing and sharing over coffee and snacks. They might occur during planning periods or after school, depending upon participants’ needs and schedules.
  • Webinars. This is one that is in the developmental state. I have used webinars a few times in the past, and participation was pretty good. They are beneficial because of the facts that they can be scheduled at any time, viewed from any place with an Internet-connected computer, and archived for later viewing. I plan to start offering some of these opportunities during the spring.

I’d be curious to hear what other methods and resources are being used for PD in other schools or districts. What have I not listed that has been particularly effective for you?

6 Outstanding New Tools Worth Exploring

The following are some fantastic new resources I’ve stumbled across lately. Each has the potential to be very valuable tools for the teacher wanting to promote critical 21st century skills in the classroom.

Collaboration

GroupMap–Ease of use and high levels of collaboration make this mind-mapping tool a valuable resource. It does require registration to begin a map, but contributions can be added simply by sharing a link and password. The site also offers useful reports of participants’ contributions and activities. The image below is a screenshot of a GroupMap I started by simply posing a question, making it public, and sharing via Twitter.

GroupMap

Mural.ly–This site features a fantastic set of features for brainstorming, collaboration, and collecting and sharing resources. Mural.ly requires registration for all participants. A user creates a mural, adds content via click-and-drag (including images, links, media, documents, etc.). There are also text, shape, and sticker tools. A “spaces” tool allows the mural to be partitioned into separate sections based upon content. Collaborators can be invited by email or username. Think Pinterest, only with greater flexibility and collaboration and less nonsense, such as forced following. Murals can be shared via social media, embedded, or downloaded as images.

Creativity/Innovation

DoSketch–Just a simple drawing/painting tool, but with several key advantages over many other resources. First of all, drawings can be shared via link or downloaded. Many drawing sites do not have the download feature, particularly for free. Secondly, it is written in HTML5, not Flash, and works in any modern browser. Lastly, it requires no registration–just draw, share, or download.

DIY–DIY is a very cool site for kids that challenges them to do creative and innovative tasks. Students get a portfolio page to show off images or video of the tasks and challenges they have completed, and can earn kudos in the form of Skills. Projects can also be shared with DIY’s mobile apps. There is also a very useful parent portal, which allows parents to monitor their children’s activities and achievements. Challenges cover a vast array of subject areas, such as engineering, electronics, biology, cartography, astronomy, and many more. The site could be a valuable tool for teachers looking to give students more control over their learning or for parents wishing to provide valuable learning opportunities at home.

 

Communicating Ideas

Easelly-Infographics are great tools for communicating ideas in a visual manner. They are quite challenging to design and require students to have a high level of understanding of a topic, if they are to be effective. Easelly is one of several recent tools that allow users to focus more on the content and presentation of ideas, and less on the creation of custom graphics. Users can create infographics using pre-designed themes, or by choosing their own backgrounds and graphics. Users can upload their own graphics and text or choose from a selection built into the interface. 11 categories of graphics are already available, including people, animals, icons, landmarks, and more.

Easelly

Deeyoon–Deeyoon is a brand new site that allows two participants to take part in a debate via webcam. Each person offers opening statements, provides evidence of their position, and offers closing remarks. Viewers can vote on which point of view they most agree with. The interface is pretty straightforward–create a debate, open it up to the challenger (I’d have both parties registered and logged in so random challengers don’t jump in.), and start talking. Debates are saved for future viewing and discussion, and they are arranged into “rooms” by topic. This could be a fantastic tool for fostering critical thinking.

Deeyoon

TidbITS Newsletter: Web 2.0 News

Obeying Copyright Laws Is Easier Than You Think

Several recent opportunities to work with groups of teachers in the past couple of weeks has prompted this post. An issue that is important for teachers and students to understand is copyright law. This is particularly true as they engage their students in creating so many marvelous digital products, many of which will be shared online. I’ve heard a couple of common statements/questions repeatedly:

  • If something isn’t marked as copyrighted, is it copyrighted?
  • Can I use something if I bought it (e.g. music from a purchased CD or download)?

The answer to the first question is “yes”. Original published works don’t have to have a copyright statement to be copyrighted. The answer to the second is “maybe”, depended upon several factors and multiple legal opinions. It is fairly clear, though, that using a large part or all of a song, even if purchased, is not acceptable without permission from its publisher or creator.

Fortunately, there are so many resources that are acceptable, teachers and students don’t have to consult with lawyers in order to find usable resources. Many are available online, and, by simply using the advanced search features of Google and other search engines, it is easy to determine which ones are okay to use. Let’s use a Google search for images of “the Alamo” as an example. This search returned a whopping 2.7 MILLION images, the majority of which have copyrights that protect them from reuse. Now, click on the Advanced Search link. Scroll down the page and find the line labelled Usage Rights. Click the dropdown menu and select Labelled for Reuse.

Google Advanced Search

Google Advanced Search

Click the Google Search button in the upper right. The results now are reduced to 154, but all have been specifically licensed by their creators for use by others. Each source may have specific limitations, which can usually be found listed on their respective pages. Most often, they simply require a citation. The same process can provide useable results from a general Google web search. Yahoo! offers a similar search feature.

In addition to advanced search tools, there are numerous sites that offer a range of media that is permissible for use in student projects. I’ve listed just a tiny sampling below, to get things started. Many more can be found by simply searching for public domain or Creative Commons sources online. The critical thing is to raise our students’ awareness of the importance of obeying the laws and to equip them with the tools to do so easily.

Copyright and Fair Use

Just wanted to share a slideshow I created for a presentation on copyright and fair use to be shared with students at Richland High School tomorrow. The show can be downloaded from Slideshare.

FYI, the answers to the quiz will be posted on the Slideshare comments.

Creative Commons License
Copyright and Fair Use by Randy Rodgers is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

Older posts

© 2017 The Moss-Free Stone

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

Skip to toolbar